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Managing Director Manager Project Centre

TDV GmbH, TDV GmbH,

Graz, Austria Graz, Austria

office@tdv.at office@tdv.at

Dorian Janjic, born 1960, civil Heinz Bokan, born 1947 civil

engineering degree from the engineering degree from Faculty

Faculty of Civil Engineering, of Civil Engineering, Graz.

Sarajevo. 15 years of experience Over 30 years of experience in

in technical research, software structural analysis in a wide

development. range of applications

Summary

Up to now, the erection control procedure of bridges exhibiting non-linear behaviour as well as

being built in stages, has presented almost insoluble problems.

The missing structural engineering tool was the one, which gives the building contractor and

consultant the ability to determine the effects – in terms of both deformation and force – of

constraining the structure into a certain pre-defined position in any stage of construction. This

missing erection control tool has finally been produced.

The erection control facility described in this paper accurately controls the position and the forces in

the segments in non-linear (as well as linear) structures built using the stage-by-stage construction

method.

The paper describes how the program provides various procedures for compensating the errors

found on site and how it is used to apply the correction to subsequent construction stages - on a

smear basis - spreading the error compensation to the pre-camber over all subsequent construction

stages up to the end of the construction.

Keywords: Erection control, geometry control, pre-camber, construction condition, kink correction

1. Introduction

The method described in this paper can be used for both, bridge design analysis and for simulation

of bridge construction sequence on site. The user can perform forward calculation, backward

calculation, erection control or erection monitoring using the same method implemented in the

software solution, also taking into account long-term

effects like creep, shrinkage and steel relaxation.

The major usage is forward simulation of bridge

construction sequence on site, combined with long-

term effects and existing non-linear effects like cable

sagging as shown in Figure 1.

In classical design mode the engineer is usually

choosing the target geometry and a force/stress

distribution in the service state. The new software

solution fits the structure into the target position and

constrains the chosen force/stress distribution by

calculating segment fabrication shapes, stress free

lengths of the cables, section shop-forms and a pre-

camber line and control-lines for each stage.

Fig. 1 Visible sagging of long stay cables In the erection control mode the method simulates

the erection procedure using segment fabrication

highly influence forces in the stay cable

shapes and the stress free cable lengths given by design control lines. As additional result, erection

control gives information if any force action is necessary to assemble the new segments. This

allows determining any necessary equipment and possible

construction problems already in the early design stage.

In the erection-monitoring mode, the new solution allows

continuously monitoring the erection procedure on site.

Any deviation from the predicted control line can be input

in the software package and RM2006 [1] supports the

engineer to fix the future changes in the erection steps by

using the inbuilt optimisation tool.

It is important to note that both, linear and non-linear

analyses are performed on the displaced structure in

erection control mode, taking into account the exact

geometrical lengths and rotations during the construction

Fig. 2 Missing geometric info while stages.

assembling cable 10 and element 3 In the simple example in Figure 2 it is obvious that

geometrical information is missing while assembling new

element 3 and cable 10 to already assembled and loaded

elements 1 and 2.

The missing geometric information is automatically

updated in the erection control mode as shown in Figure 3.

This feature, working with pre-cambering, gives the

possibility of determining the effects, in terms of both,

deformations and forces, constraining the structure into a

pre-defined position at any stage of construction.

In this way the erection geometry and its effects can be

carefully controlled, the effects of possible errors can be

rapidly valuated and modifications for the following

construction phases can be determined in order to

minimize the final static and geometrical effects in the

structure.

Fig. 3 Automatic kink correction in To this end, the deformed structure is used as the starting

erection control mode point for the calculations, taking in full account the

position of each element in the space for the large

deflection analysis where appropriate.

Using a novel solution based on displacement constraints [2], one generally applicable method has

been found and implemented within a software package RM2006. This comprehensive solution

simplifies design and erection control of the bridge, efficiently using the same procedure for all

kinds of bridges from small concrete bridges to big stay cable bridges like Sutong Bridge in China,

Stonecutter’s bridge in Hong Kong and extra-large suspension bridges like Messina Bridge in Italy.

2.1 The Real Problem

Significant displacements occur during the construction of bridges. They essentially depend on the

erection sequence. In order to obtain the desired end-geometry of the bridge, these displacements

are often compensated for with pre-camber and specific fabrication shapes of girder components.

The deformed structure is the start position for the calculation; therefore, full account of the current

location in space is taken for the large deflection analysis. The whole procedure is repeated

iteratively [3] until the predefined convergence criteria are achieved.

In the implemented method, the stress-free fabrication shape is applied as a loading, acting on the

currently active structure. It will generally produce forces, stresses and deformations.

Since the fabrication shape is applied as a loading, the user can use this device to control and

optimise the forces and displacements in the structure.

Structural assembly with the option to automatically correct the kink at the segment face can also be

used to fully simulate certain construction conditions - each newly-active element is fully

constrained with a face-to-face connection to the currently active structure in its displaced position.

It is also possible to fully control face-to-face connection by changing fabrication shape of new

segments or to use kink correction on the connection face.

construction, that the current position

of the segment after installation does

not correspond with the expected

position in this stage.

The expected position is taken from the

design calculation and is a postulated

position, assuming that the material

behaviour and length of time taken for

construction up to that time are exactly

in line with the assumptions made.

construction stages is required to

seriously control the erection geometry.

Fig. 4 Segments waiting for errection In the design process however, the

optimisation of internal forces under

permanent loads is the primary engineering task and the choice of erection situations are steps to

reach it. The analysis is performed with a given starting geometry - usually the structure in its

desired final geometry.

Pre-camber is the geometry of the

bridge required for assembly to reach

the final geometry under given loading

conditions.

Because the bridge structure is erected

in segments, the pre-camber geometry

is defined as the required coordinate

offsets of the segment begin and end

points.

The stress free segment shape for

installation is the segment fabrication

shape.

It is defined relative to the connection

line between the current begin and end

node position of the structural system.

Fig. 5 Typical constraction stage for stayed cable

bridge

This applies to the installation of

cables as well as to the erection of

beam segments. From the pre-camber geometry, the coordinates of cable start and end-points are

extracted, whereas the fabrication shape of the cable is the fabrication-length of the cable, also

known as the 'stress-free length'.

2.2 Usage of constraints

In classic static and dynamic FEM analysis, it is assumed that elements are connected to the

common nodes. The common nodes consist of chosen degrees of freedoms (like displacements,

strains, stresses or forces) and neighbour elements share all nodal degrees of freedoms included in

the shared common nodes.

In reality, the structural segments are connected “face to face” and common nodes are only used to

discretise the structural system. This concept works excellent if no changes occur in the “face to

face” connection between the segments, free lengths between cable anchorage points and the

segment geometry.

The difficulties arise immediately if “face to face” connection is manipulated during the

construction or if the segment geometry or the total displacement of the structure is deviating from

the design state.

On the one hand, the unassembled segments are not fitting into displaced geometry of the structure

any more and on the other hand, the engineer has to find and optimise necessary future correction

steps in the erection procedure in order to come close to the designed set of forces and

displacements in time infinity.

{δ }= {δ }+ {δ

I

Elem

I −1

Elem

I −1

Node

I −1

− δ Elem }+ {δ Elem

Kink _ Correction

} (1)

Due to such changes in geometry the computer model of the structure based on “common nodes” is

in general not accurate any more and should be updated as shown in equation 1. The first term

represents the last known element displacement, the second term represents the difference between

last known node and element displacement and the last term is user defined kink correction at

element faces.

It is obvious that after inserting displacement constraint at element faces, the standard FEM code

based on common node displacement can not be used any more. Element stiffness properties,

including both linear and non-linear geometric terms, have to be updated [4], and the local

coordinate system of structural elements (defining local forces) is changed.

The displaced geometry of the already assembled structure together with the geometry of the

segments going to be assembled in the next erection step have

to be geometrically updated.

If the stress free geometrical shape of the new assembled

elements does not fit into the geometry of already assembled

structure and the structural system is fully or partially

constrained, this will result in additional forces and stresses.

This is an indication that additional equipment, such as a

hydraulic press, is necessary to assemble those elements on site.

Even the simple calculation with equilibrium at the non-

Fig. 6 Kink correction deformed system, like linear and 2nd order theory analysis, is

between structural segment influenced by displacement constraints. In this case, the non-

linear terms in stiffness matrix are not present, but the analysis

will result in additional element displacements and in forces and

stresses if the deformation is constrained. For composite and steel structures, the method can detect

frozen stresses in composite parts and give information about necessary equipment.

The main purpose of the TDV erection and geometry control module is to accurately control the

position of the segments in a linear or non-linear bridge structure built with using the stage-by-stage

construction method.

The whole procedure is repeated iteratively until the convergence criteria are achieved. The

Fabrication Shape (stress free element shapes) is input as a load and is applied to the structure by

calculation of the appropriate loading case.

The structural geometry of the segments and cables is defined by structural model and the

individual shape of the segment elements and stress free lengths of the cables.

For the 1st iteration of the calculation, the "Erection Control" procedure uses the pre-deformed

structure, i.e. the deflection line taken from a previous calculation.

This enables both, linear calculation or a real 3rd order theory analysis. Structural assembling with

the option "Automatic Kink Correction" is commonly used in this mode - where each newly

activated element is fully constrained by a face-to-face connection with the currently active

displaced structure.

Using the erection control facility, the stress free fabrication shape is applied as a load to the

structure. In general, the application of the stress free fabrication shape of a segment to the currently

active structure will produce forces, stresses and deformations. The special case where the stress

free shape is in exact conformity with the position of the existing structural parts (i.e. all in

accordance with the pre-camber calculation) will produce no forces stresses and deformations in the

structure.

Since the stress free shape is applied as a loading, the user can, using this device, control and

optimise the forces in the structure.

The program provides various procedures for compensating the error and applies the correction to

subsequent construction stages – on a smear basis – spreading the error compensation to the pre-

camber over all the subsequent construction stages up to the end of the construction.

Possible procedure for making error compensation adjustments to unformed segments during the

construction period:

Manipulate the existing structure to the end of the current stage, using any available method to

manipulate the structural model such as applying different E-Modulus or modifying the individual

fabrication shapes such that the end of the structure corresponds (position and orientation-wise)

exactly with the position on site.

Activate and apply a fabrication shape as a loading case to the next element to bring it into the

correct position. (The macro allows the user to spread this adjustment over more than one element)

Apply Erection Control and go to the next step.

Procedure for making error compensation adjustments to already formed segments during the con-

struction period:

The next segment can be installed in a position stepped up or down from the previous segment

(aesthetically and often practically unacceptable).

The contractor can adjust the rotation angle between the old and the new segment. This adjustment

is subject to certain practical and design restrictions depending on whether the segment is pre-cast

or manufactured in steel.

Application of eccentric jacking forces against the two segments on either side of the closure

segment(s) can ensure correct relative alignment of the two cantilever halves.

Modifying the stay cable stresses (where applicable), etc.

The resulting forces from making these modifications can again be easily checked by modifying the

end rotations in the “Stress free fabrication shape” and using the Erection Control facility. The

result of applying the “Individual segment shapes” as a load will be forces, stresses and

deformations in all the elements of the structural model.

2.4 Implementation in the software package RM2006

For both, calculation with equilibrium at the non-deformed system (linear and 2nd order theory

analysis) and calculation with equilibrium at the deformed system (theory of large displacement)

there is the same calculation procedure.

The "real" (stress free) fabrication shape of segments and cables has to be applied to the structure.

Fabrication Shape of cables is pure stress free length of

the cable as shown in Figure 7.

The system length of a cable element is generally

LX0 defined as the straight distance between the start and

end-points before applying any transverse loading.

Changing the stress-free length results in length

differing from the system length of the element.

The initial strain required for producing the elongation

Fig. 7 Stress free length of the cable is characterised by the difference between the specified

constrained in current length between length and the system length is automatically calculated.

anchorage at begin/end

This strain is applied to cable element in the same

manner as a uniform temperature change. There is an

alternative possibility to define the jacking force in the

cables instead of the stress free element length.

For a beam segment, six input values are needed to

define the stress free fabrication shape. Figure 8 shows

the input as equivalent cantilever or simple beam.

automatically by the software by activating an option

"Erection Control".

The application of stress free fabrication shapes changes

the stiffness matrix and adds additional loading terms.

known deflection line updated with a given fabrication

shape and kink correction for the new stage. This

enables a true 3rd order theory analysis. In this mode,

structural assembling can easily be done using the

option "Automatic Kink Correction" by which each

reactivated element is fully constraint to the displaced

Fig. 8 Fabrication shape of structural active structure.

segments input as equivalent

cantilever or simple span beam

3. Application example

The below shown application example for the presented method is the pre-camber and control line

calculation for bridge 4C over Brunswick River.

The bridge is built using the balanced

cantilever method. Segments are cast

in-situ using the VSL modular form-

traveller.

Pre-camber values are required to

define the casting curve; control lines

are required to validate the as-built

conditions during erection.

consists of 3 individual bridges (A, B

Fig. 9 Brunswick bridge VSL(specialist), and C) spanning over Brunswick River.

Abigroup (contractor), SMEC(consultant). The three bridges run parallel to each

other, each a 3-span structure with an

84.5m long main span and 50m side

spans.

Each bridge deck is a single box

section with variable deck slab width.

The piers are arranged with an angle of

approximately 60° to the deck. The pier

table is monolithically connected to the

pier.

The four cantilevers of a bridge are

built simultaneously. Temporary props

are installed on the side span side next

to the pier to provide additional

stability for out-of-balance construction

stages such as form-traveller launching

or casting of a segment.

Fig. 10 Fabrication shape of structural segments input

as equivalent cantilever or simple span beam

always towards the side span, since the

props cannot take tension.

The load in the temporary props is

monitored and adjusted in order to

avoid loads other than the ones

resulting from out-of-balance moments.

4. Conclusion

Bridges are in general designed with a specific pre-camber in order to compensate deformations

occurring during the construction. The erection procedure is based on the bridge design and usually

optimised by the contractor in order to minimise time and costs needed for performing the

construction in accordance with available equipment and resources. During the erection of the

bridge, it is necessary to compensate the deviation of the bridge geometry compared to the design

geometry and to optimise future changes in the construction sequence in order to get the final

geometry as well as design forces and stresses in the structure.

The derivation of the exact pre-camber shapes is a time consuming task for the design office,

especially for large structures with multiple construction stages and complicated loading history.

A methodology to cover the needs of the design office and the contractor within one computer

program has been implemented and is presented in this paper. The technical background is outlined.

The computer program automatically follows the bridge erection procedure and predicts the exact

geometric position of structural segments taking into account the construction method, the

construction sequence, the loading history, pre-stressing and post-tensioning, changes in support

conditions and geometry and time-dependent effects.

In bridge design, constraints are based on forces and not on displacements. In the classical design,

pre-cambering and fabrication shape is treated as additional future correction, which will fit the

structure in the target final geometrical position. This fabrication shape is not considered in

structural analysis. Therefore, there are usually different sets of results for the final state analysis

and for the stage-by-stage (construction) analysis.

On the other hand, in bridge construction the main goal is to follow the construction procedure on

site step by step. All segments are defined by their fabrication shapes, and the cables are defined by

stress free lengths for each stressing sequence of the cable.

In order to compensate deviations from design line, produced by different material quality and

different loading on site, it is necessary to add additional corrections, like kinks between segments,

to reach the final design state.

5. References

[2] JANJIC D, PIRCHER H., FEMBRIDGE - Technical Project Description, 2004, TDV-Austria

[3] JANJIC D., PIRCHER M., PIRCHER H., "Optimisation of Cable Tensioning in Cable-Stayed

Bridges", Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, v8, n3, pp 131-137

[4] JANJIC D., PIRCHER M., PIRCHER H., BRIDGE R.Q. “Towards a Holistic Approach to

Bridge Design”, Proceedings: IABSE-Symposium 2002, Melbourne, pp. 236-237

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